Photo courtesy of Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com
A few months back, we reported that Jessica Chastain was slated to star in Xavier Dolan’s next film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. As the English-language debut of the prolific writer-actor-director, Dolan said that Chastain would be playing the villain of the Hollywood-set drama, which will focus on a “Dean or Brando”-esque movie star who becomes pen-pals with an 11-year-old boy—which we noted is surely a nod to himself and this adorable letter Dolan wrote to Leonardo DiCaprio after seeing Titanic.
And after saying he and Chastain “got along like hotcakes,” Dolan recently told Indiewire that she will be playing a “full-on bitch” in the film. “We’re going to have so much fun doing this. She’s a mega tricky villain,” he noted. “I’m a fan of what she does and I can see all that she can do, but she has not played this part. It’s a very specific part. It’s sheer evil.”
Although he initially expressed interest in Friday Night Light’s’s Taylor Kitsch playing the American heartthrob in the picture, it’s just been announced that Kit Harrington has signed on for the leading role. Speaking further to the film, Dolan said:
“Well it is a sort of reflection on Hollywood’s impact in the modern artist’s life, the actor’s life, the people from the industry. It’s a sort of take on how it affects privacy. But it’s not a satire. It’s more of a drama with a structured story of two different lives intertwined: the story of a very, very famous, new ‘it’ boy — but not only ‘it’ because we’re talking iconic, we’re talking new legend…This guy called John F. Donovan is beloved by his peers, admired, adulated, adored by the public, by the fans and approved by the industry and by the journalists. He’s a sort of immediate myth but he’s been having this secretive correspondence with a very young man, an 11-year-old actor-to-be in the UK and they have never told anyone about it, and the film is the story of a sort of an Icarus flight, if I can call it that, when the existence of the letters is revealed to the public and people make the most sordid assumptions, and how this man’s career, and life, completely collapse.”
Stay tuned for more, as we’ll be keeping a close eye on this one. But in the meantime, take some time to appreciate the incredible music in Dolan’s psycho-thriller Tom at the Farm and listen through the wonderful soundtrack for his next film Mommy, which rolls into theaters come January.